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Hudson’s Bay swings to Q1 profit as sales double


Toronto -- Hudson's Bay Co. (HBC) swung to a profit in its first quarter, boosted by strong sales at Saks Inc., which it acquired last year. Hudson's Bay has announced plans to bring Saks to Canada, starting with two locations in Toronto in 2015.

“We’ve been seeing a very strong, positive trend in luxury items — the more unique, the more expensive, the more special a product is, the greater the demand we seem to be getting, so that bodes well for Saks,” HBC CEO Richard said during a conference call with analysts to discuss first quarter results.

The retailer reported net earnings of C$176 million ($161.55 million), compared to a net loss of C$82 million in the year-ago period.

Retail sales rose to C$1.86 billion ($1.70 billion), up from C$884 million last year. Digital sales were C$207 million in the quarter and included sales at Hudson’s Bay Company, Saks and Lord & Taylor.

Same-store sales rose 2.8% on a consolidated basis. For the department-store group, which includes Hudson's Bay and Lord & Taylor, same-store sales increased 2.5%. Saks Fifth Avenue’s sales rose 2.6%. Same-store sales at Saks Off 5th outlet stores jumped 15.1%, fueled in part by strong growth in its new online business.

"Overall first quarter performance was in the range of our expectations," Baker said in a statement. "We are encouraged by the business trends witnessed through the quarter, which bode well for the balance of this year," he added.

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